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The heritage sector in the UK looks after historic sites across the country, from museums to listed buildings and from archives to archaeology. Sites in the UK can include well-worn tourist attractions such as Stonehenge, castles from Edinburgh to Warwick, and world-famous museums such as the British Museum or the Imperial War Museum North. Alongside these more famous locations, there are thousands of less well-known sites dotted across the country.
There are a number of organisations involved in heritage work in the UK – the largest of these include English Heritage, The Heritage Alliance, The National Trust, Historic Scotland and World Heritage UK. Other employers in the heritage sector will include larger and smaller museums and galleries.
Working in heritage can involve looking after (curating) museum collections, restoring monuments (conservation) or educating the public about the history of a particular site or collection. There are also management positions available in finance, fundraising, marketing and communications.
It can be challenging to find a graduate role in the heritage sector as it is oversubscribed with applicants. Salaries tend to be quite low relative to other graduate careers. Roles are often offered as fixed-term contracts (especially at junior levels), and it can be difficult to find a permanent position until you have developed a few years of experience. You may need to be prepared to move to different locations around the country to find positions.